Cosplay Bullying & How to Overcome It

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Bullying exists in multiple forms. It’s violent, cruel and completely uncalled for. Yet, when it happens (and it happens frequently) it is often brutal, shocking and, for some, life changing. I would like to say that Cosplay is free of such darkness but, sadly, “differences” are often feared and fear is the driver for bullying. Cosplay Bullying is nothing new, people who started crafting decades ago faced it and those who costume today are still plagued by the comments. What is different are the avenues in which these bullies operate. 10 or even 20 years ago it was uncommon to find aggressive bullying online as it was VERY easy to figure out who was doing it. Today, with millions of people online, such concern has fallen to the wayside and bullies have evolved into “Trolls”. Some Trolls are trying to be funny, some are fighting their own insecurities and others…others get off on hurting others.

Bullying/Trolling Survivor

While perusing the internet for Cosplay Features I came across Midnight Pursona. She is a plus size cosplayer of color who has seen her fair share of abuse. Intrigued by her gusto and determination to push past the cruelty of others, I asked if she would meet me at Tucson Comicon and would you know? Being polite delivered to me an interview with a lovely, energetic and happy cosplayer. Here is how our interview went…

(NOTE: The convention was VERY loud and my microphone decided not to operate so please use the Closed Captions if you’re having trouble hearing our words; thank you!)

How to Overcome Bullying/Trolling

Midnight Pursona mentioned some VERY good techniques to overcoming bullying in our interview that I would like to elaborate upon here. If you are being bullied please…

  • Diffuse the Situation: If someone says “Hey, you’re fat.” turn around and, with a smile, state “That is your opinion and I acknowledge it however; I do not have to accept it. I love myself and do not require validation from you but I hope you have a good day.” Often being calm, calculated/logical and polite will throw the aggressor off balance and give you time to walk away. If that does not work…
  • Grab Backup: Get a friend’s attention. Strength in numbers is nothing new but it is functional. If the aggressor persists in verbally abusing you having another person at your side to assist with diffusing the situation or distracting the aggressor to give you time to walk away is an incredible tactic. If that STILL does not work…
  • Report Them: Leave the area and find someone to report to aggressor to. If you are online then report the comment as abuse, many social media companies encourage this. If you feel physically threatened DO NOT HESITATE to call your local police. Harassment is harassment and should NEVER be tolerated.

Cosplay Bullying/Trolling Survivor Support

There is a LARGE movement in social media that supports eradicating bully/troll like behavior from online and social forums. That movement has a home: https://www.facebook.com/cabcampaign/. If you need support, are looking for a friend or would like to help with this movement please visit the Cosplay Against Bullying page on Facebook. It is full of incredibly supportive people from all walks of life.

Want to share your story or ask for advice? Please feel free to use the comments below. We want to be your safe space too.

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